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WARNING *** Reading this review might make you want to rush into the kitchen and raid the fridge.*****
What is a sandwich? A snack food consisting of two slices of bread with a filling. A great British invention.
It is said the sandwich was named after John Montague, fourth Earl of Sandwich, who' s cook invented the modern sandwich in 1762. The Earl was gambling one evening and was too involved to leave a card game to have a meal. He ordered bread, cheese and meat to be brought to him so he could continue his game. His inventive cook provided him with roasted meat between two slices of toasted bread. The Earl continued to play his game holding his meal in one hand and so the humble ‘sandwich’ was invented. It soon caught on as a convenience food and the name ‘Sandwich’ stuck. Now over 200 years later whether it made from bread, barmcakes, cobs or rolls, from wholegrain, wholemeal, granary or the simple white slice the sandwich is one of the most eaten snacks today.
The more important aspect of a sandwich is the filling but any ingredients to your taste will do. I have compiled a few of my favourite and possibly your favourite fillings too.
BACON & HP SAUCE. Nothing can beat the nations favourite sandwich. Taking the idea from Jamie Oliver’s second cookery book I visit my baker and ask them to slice a small tin load lengthways so my bread slices are double in length then adding half a pound of tasty, thick crispy rashers of back bacon and a good helping of HP sauce. You may only get approximately 8 slices from one of those small loaves but it is enough for four large bacon butties. Did you know HP was invented by F. G. Garton, a Nottingham grocer and began to market HP Sauce in 1903. Garton had heard that a restaurant in the Houses of Parliament had begun serving it and called it HP: Houses of Parliament sauce. Later Garton sold the recipe and HP brand, for the sum of £150 as settlement for unpaid bills to Edwin Samson Moore.
CHEESE. Cheese is always a good base for a humble sandwich to which you can add other ingredients to make your sandwich. Cheese and Onion are perfect for each other, the pungent strong vegetable compliments and the creamy dairy product a thick slice of Spanish salad onion with a mature cheddar, definitely my favourite. Other cheese-partnered combinations are equally delicious, cheese & tomato, cheese & ham, cheese & turkey (a favourite I have discovered in Canada and surprisingly tasty), cheese and salad, or for those who like a little spice condiment with your cheese, cheese and pickle.
PASTRAMI. Pastrami is a beef brisket soaked in brine with some sugar and spices; usually the meat is coated with crushed black peppercorns and smoked. It’s a deep red colour and sliced very thinly. I love this smooth textured beef with the peppery coating, not only is it low fat its tasty too I prefer it when it is partnered with cream cheese on a toasted bagel.
BLT. Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato. An American invented sandwich, which I occasionally have from the sandwich delivery van at lunchtime when I am working. Two rashers of crispy back bacon with crispy iceberg lettuce a thick slice of beef tomato and a dollop of mayonnaise. Mmm delicious.
HAM. Another favourite is the humble ham sandwich, this too can be complimented with different partners, and my personal preference is mustard, especially good English mustard like Colmans. But ham is equally enjoyed with tomato, salad or cheese.
ROAST CHICKEN. A simple filling although roasting a chicken for one sandwich would seem extreme but the deli counter at the local supermarket can easily supply sliced chicken. Preferably I enjoy hot, juicy chicken breast slices on a thick crusty slice with a dollop of mayonnaise. Wonderful.
CORNED BEEF. I would stand up and announce that the only way to eat corned beef in a sandwich is with a thick slice of Spanish salad onion although some people would concur and many others would object. Now I make my corned beef and onion sandwiches by taking a tin of corned beef and mashing it in a bowl adding pepper, mayonnaise and a finely grated onion, easier to spread but just as tasty as slices.
EGG MAIONAISE. Many people enjoy egg sandwiches most notably the egg mayonnaise where egg is mashed with a fork or potato ricer and mixed with mayonnaise to which can be added cress or tomato. I prefer my egg mayonnaise with salad.
TUNA MAYONAISE. Tuna fish has become a very common sandwich filling although tuna mayo can be easily enjoyed on a baked jacket potato. Tuna is a low fat fish supplied in brine or oil in tins although you can purchase it as a premixed sandwich filling at the supermarket. My favourite is mixed with sweet corn.
BEEF. Thin slices of roast beef whether it is with silverside or topside with a helping of hot horseradish or mustard. Although this is not one of my most favoured fillings I occasionally enjoy it at lunchtimes.
Well there it is, my list of favourite sandwich fillings but there are thousands of other fillings that can be used. The favourite of American children, peanut butter and jelly (Jam) or a simple jam sandwich is a tasty sweet treat. Sausage, lamb and mint, roast pork and applesauce are just a few hot fillings you can have.
Over the last twenty odd years the toasted sandwich has come to the fore where the filling is sealed inside two slices of bread and cooked in a specially designed toaster, here a multitude of hot ingredients are ideal for a filling, warm snack.
And finally the last filling which I failed to mention perviously but have since been reminded of is the other country's favourite, The Great British Chip Butty. Crispy thick chips with lashings of tomato Ketchup.